Motherboards are electrical hubs of a computer. Motherboards are sometimes called system boards or mainboards. Because every electrical connection in a computer is facilitated by the motherboard, it is sometimes called the backbone of a computer system. Much like a person's spine supports the cerebrum, motherboards support the central processing unit, or brain of a computer. But, the CPU is only one of many components housed by motherboards. Motherboards typically contain the following components: electrical sockets for the CPU, sockets for the main memory, chipset to interface, non-volatile memory chips including the basic input/output system (BIOS), a clock generator, power connector flickers, input device connectors and expansion slots.
Most computer motherboards manufactured today are for use in IBM compatible computers. IBM compatibles account for 90% of computer sales. But, motherboards are used in more than just computers. These electronic boards are also present in cell phones, stop watches, and many electronics.
The main memory slots are also present on the motherboard. Today these are usually dual inline memory modules, or DIMM modules. The dynamic random access memory chips, or DRAM chips, are located here.
The motherboard contains slots for the main memory. Dual inline memory, or DIMM, modules are the most used types of memory modules in computers today. This is where the DRAM, direct access memory, chips are located and the type of DRAM chips you use will depend on what your computer can support.
A chipset comprised of integrated circuits, which service to connect the main memory with the peripheral buses, is located on the motherboard. This chipset is often separated into two sections the Northbridge and the Southbridge. The Northbridge is far better known as it controls high-speed devices. The lesser-known Southbridge controls low-speed devices, such as sound chips.
Motherboards contain a clock generator. This clock generator is a circuit with the basic operation of producing a signal for synchronizing the computer. Some people who are well skilled at computers change the clock generator to control speed of the central processing unit and random access memory.
Motherboards hold clock generators. These generators supply timing signals that coordinate the time of the computer components including the system clock. This generator also controls the speed of the RAM and CPU. Several slots or sockets exist on the motherboard that allows additional boards to be connected to it. These slots allow for expansion of the computer by adding on devices that were not previously connected. Input and output devices, such as scanners or graphics cards can be used in these expansion slots.
Motherboards contain components known as power connector flickers. These flickers take power from the main supply and dispense power throughout the computer. These flickers provide power to the CPU, chipsets, main memory, and expansion cards.
In addition to power problems, some other signs your motherboard components have stopped working properly are: 1. you computer stopped doing anything 2. the sound of one long beep followed by 3 short ones 3. inaccurate time on the computer clock 4. warning message about the DMA, CMOS battery, or RAM 5. the power light is on, but the computer will not power on, or start up